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Monday, 11 November 1991
Page: 2861


Senator COLLINS (Minister for Shipping and Aviation Support) (8.50 p.m.) —The subclauses of clause 10 referred to by Senator Harradine have been deliberately included in this Bill, among other things, in anticipation of the Government's decision in respect of the exposure draft to which Senator Harradine referred before the suspension of the sitting. As Senator Harradine mentioned, Mr Beazley has in fact tabled the Broadcasting Services Bill in the House of Representatives. The Bill was deliberately tabled to generate the maximum amount of input and public comment. This Bill gives the Australian Broadcasting Tribunal power to investigate unresolved complaints against both the ABC and SBS. The Bill has been circulated for public consultation and the Government is proposing to make a decision, hopefully, in 1992.

  One of the issues which will be considered by the Government is the appropriateness or otherwise of self-regulatory mechanisms for setting program standards. The Bill deliberately foreshadows this decision by requiring SBS, at clause 10(1)(b), `to develop and publicise the SBS's programming policies' and, at clause 10(1)(h), `to develop and publicise the SBS's policies on the handling of complaints'. This Bill has been deliberately drafted in that way, and once that process is complete it will be taken into account by the Government when considering its response to the exposure draft of the Broadcasting Services Bill next year.

  Clause agreed to.

  Clauses 11 to 44—by leave—taken together, and agreed to.

  Clause 45.